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Are puppy pads only for puppies?

Or is it okay to continue using puppy pads when your dog is all grown up?

Having a dog use puppy pads is not like having a teenager in diapers. It’s completely fine and appropriate to use pads if they work for you.

Taking your dog outside is ultimately easier and keeps your home cleaner, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a clean home with pads, or that you’re enforcing some bad habit.

As long as your dog is potty-trained to the point of not having accidents, and you’re happy with how pads fit into your home and your schedule, there’s nothing wrong with using them.

Why You Might Continue Using Puppy Pads Into Adulthood

For Matilda’s first two years of life, we lived in a sort of unsafe area, so it wasn’t always a good idea for me to walk her in our neighborhood at night. Sometimes I did it anyway, but it was generally difficult for me to take her out consistently, especially after dark.

So, it made sense to keep using puppy pads.

Now that it’s easier to get her outside, she’s fully transitioned to only going potty outside. It did take a few months of weaning her off them, but it worked. Many dogs, like her, enjoy marking their territory outdoors, so it’s not the end of the world if you need to transition later on.

You might also use puppy pads if your dog is sick, injured, or recovering from surgery.

It’s nice to have used puppy pads in the past, so you will be able to use them again if needed. It’s possible, though much more difficult to teach your dog to use pads after she’s been potty trained for outdoors only.

You might also use puppy pads if your climate can be unpredictable. Heavy snowfalls, hurricanes and dust storms are just a few weather-related reasons you might want to stay inside with your dog.

Lastly, if you’re disabled, injured, chronically ill, or just have days where you’re too busy to otherwise unable to take your dog out, puppy pads can really come in handy.

All that said, you don’t need to justify your choices to anyone. If you simply prefer using pads, and you know your dog can get enough exercise indoors, it’s perfectly fine.

Better Alternatives To Puppy Pads

If I were still using puppy pads, I’d have trouble keeping them in my home in a sanitary way. My current home has a lot of carpeting, so there’s no flat, smooth surface to put a puppy pad other than in my kitchen or bathroom.

When I used puppy pads daily, it was hard to keep that area of my home clean and odor-free. Though more absorbent pads did not smell too bad, they were more expensive, so I tended to use fewer of them.

Instead, I might use something that’s better for the environment and easier on the nose, like a doggy litter-box or reusable pads placed in a pad holder. I have a full list of puppy pad alternatives that can help you find something that fits into your lifestyle.

Lindsay Pevny
Lindsay Pevny lives to help pet parents make the very best choices for their pets by providing actionable, science-based training and care tips and insightful pet product reviews.

She also uses her pet copywriting business to make sure the best pet products and services get found online through catchy copy and fun, informative blog posts. She also provides product description writing services for ecommerce companies.

As a dog mom to Matilda and Cow, she spends most of her days taking long walks and practicing new tricks, and most nights trying to make the best of a very modest portion of her bed.

You'll also find her baking bread and making homemade pizza, laughing, painting and shopping.